ND Senate Killed an Effort to Let Us Have a Say in Raising Taxes

The North Dakota Senate wants it to be easy to raise our taxes. They proved as much last week when they defeated House Concurrent Resolution 3040.

Had HCR 3040 passed, it would have placed a constitutional amendment on the 2022 General Election ballot. Voters would have decided whether the legislature should have to garner a 2/3 vote in both of its chambers to raise our taxes or to create a new one. Right now it only requires a simple majority.

Freshman Senator Doug Larsen (R – District 34) did an excellent job of defending the idea during floor debate. But on an 18-28 vote, a majority of his colleagues spoke loud and clear on how they felt about the idea.

Spending in Bismarck has been a huge problem for over a decade now. We’ve seen things like a special session to address budget shortfalls and draining buckets (i.e. reserve funds) to make budgets work. And then some Republicans have had the audacity to brag about balancing the budget— which is actually pretty ridiculous when we consider they’re constitutionally required to do so.

Even this session has been no exception. You might have forgotten — or didn’t know — that in its opening days Legislative Budget Analyst and Auditor, Allen Knudson, gave a presentation to lawmakers that lasted more than 20 minutes. In it, he warned of the potential for a nearly $1 Billion shortfall. Keep in mind— that was just three short months ago.

While many lawmakers continue to suggest they want to keep taxes low, they ignore the reality of their own spending problem— which means taxes could be even lower if they didn’t spend so much. That would mean more money in your pocket and mine. I think that’d be a good thing.

It would be an understatement to say that I’m disappointed in the Senate. Yet, I’m not surprised by how they voted. I’m certain they’re well aware that had they put this on the ballot, it would have passed with overwhelming support— just like Senator Doug Larsen indicated in his floor speech. And like typical politicians, they just couldn’t allow that to happen. Because, according to Senator Dale Patten (R – District 39), it would make their jobs “more difficult” ya know.

It’s a heavy lift for the citizenry to gather the necessary signatures to place a constitutional measure on the ballot. But maybe — just maybe — this one’s worth the effort to get it there. After all, if we don’t put a kibosh to what’s going on in Bismarck, then who will?

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Sources:

  1. https://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/67-2021/bill-index/bi3040.html
  2. https://theminutemanblog.com/2021/03/09/house-passes-resolution-proposing-2-3-vote-to-increase-taxes/
  3. https://video.legis.nd.gov/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20210407/-1/19950?startposition=20210401142737
  4. https://theminutemanblog.com/2019/02/15/tax-spend-the-floor-speech-every-north-dakotan-should-hear/
  5. https://theminutemanblog.com/2019/05/20/ndgops-bragging-about-a-balanced-budget-is-embarrassing/
  6. https://www.ncsl.org/documents/fiscal/StateBalancedBudgetProvisions2010.pdf
  7. https://www.legis.nd.gov/legislative-council
  8. https://theminutemanblog.com/2021/01/08/lawmakers-warned-burgums-budget-could-leave-about-1-billion-shortfall/
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About T. Arthur Mason 859 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.